And now for the quadrennial hullaballoo in re: hooliganism and poor behavior that inevitably attends the coverage of the World Cup: “Soccer fans are just a bunch of unemployed thugs who are only interested in the games as an excuse to get drunk and fight.” (That’s at least half wrong.) Isn’t this all just a bit cliched at this point? Sure, there are going to be some jerks who cause some trouble, but don’t they burn down Detroit every time one of their teams wins? Oh wait. They burn down Detroit every October 30th. My mistake.
The angle this year appears to the World Cup debut of, wait for it, Eastern European thugs, many of whom are getting their first big chance to fight with veteran hooligans from England, Holland, and Germany. (According to this dude we talked to at the Japan World Cup, the key to good fighting at the World Cup is being able to fight with up-for-it locals — who were in short supply in Nippon.) What, the nice Polish boys haven’t seen the ESPN commercials with the stopping the wars and the frolicking children and the women in burkas playing keepy-uppy (note: said image not actually true)? Don’t they know this is supposed to be fun?
On a positive note, I did find some pretty cool sites about hooligans. See below.